Vaizey: Games must make tax case again

Watch Tory MP's address to Develop inside.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey this morning told the UK games industry it would "need to make the case again" if it wanted tax breaks for development.

But the Tory MP, delivering the keynote address at the Develop Conference, insisted the sector wouldn't "fall over" without them, and announced Government-backed initiatives he said would help aid small developers and tackle the skills crisis.

In his first speech to the games industry since joining Government - and since Chancellor George Osborne scrapped Labour's plans for tax relief in his Budget - Vaizey insisted he remained "a committed champion of this industry" and would do "all I can to ensure you remain in an environment where you can compete".

On the heated issue of tax breaks, Vaizey said: "I can't emphasise enough that I'm not the Chancellor - but the Treasury is always open to rational argument and debate." Vaizey had, prior to the election, come out strongly in support of tax breaks alongside coalition partner, LibDem MP Don Foster - but Osborne had never publicly offered support.

Ed Vaizey's address to the Develop Conference.

On the issue of whether the industry should continue to pursue the issue, Vaizey said: "To put it bluntly, you haven't made the case because the Chancellor didn't accept it. You need to make the case again. But don't think just because we don't have tax break the industry is going to fall over - that's so wide of the mark."

Despite the setback on tax breaks, Vaizey defended the Budget as good for business overall. "I don't feel downhearted or defeated; I'm incredibly optimistic," he said, adding that he supported Osborne's "vision" for a low-tax regime that would help UK businesses.

Elsewhere, Vaizey revealed a £2m fund in association with Scotland's Abertay University, to help start-ups to develop new IP. And he also announced an independent review into the skills sector, "to see what school leavers and graduates need", fronted by Eidos life president Ian Livingstone and Revolution's Charles Cecil.

Vaizey also addressed the issue of the new PEGI age ratings, currently in limbo and waiting for statutory approval. He acknowledged there were still "a number of processes and parliamentary hurdles" to navigate, but insisted: "It's better to spend time to make sure these are right than have a system that doesn't work when comes into force."

In conclusion, he added: "I would counsel against a council of despair - I personally think this industry has a fantastic future. Is my door open to talk to you, to work with you? Absolutely."

Asked, finally, which games he played, Vaizey quipped: "Super Mario Wii - that's all I'm capable of."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (29)

About the author

Johnny Minkley

Johnny Minkley

Contributor  |  johnnyminkley

Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

Related

You may also enjoy...

Supporters only

Supporters only | Letter from the Editor: What's with all the good reviews?

We're supposedly suffering a game drought, but we've never recommended so many games. What's going on?

Premium only | Off Topic: A brilliant podcast about 90s pop

Oli Welsh on 60 Songs That Explain the 90s.

Premium only | The Eurogamer Podcast returns! Meet the UK's first professional gamer

New host, new direction, exclusive early access for Premium supporters.

Comments (29)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading
Eurogamer.net

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch
Explore our store